Saturday, April 14, 2012

AAA #2 --

I would have to say that Trainer Road has probably been the most beneficial training tool for me over the off season.  The site offers interval workouts that are based on percentage of your threshold values, so it is really pushing you to improve.  Their "virtual power" is a neat idea, but since I don't have one of the approved trainers, I used my heart rate instead. There are even plans that cover 6-8 week training blocks, so it was like having a coach writing stuff out for you.  And the best part was that some of the workouts talk you through pedal stroke drills, cadence workouts, and strategies for riding -- all the things that I had almost no clue about.

What you'll need:
1. laptop computer
2. ANT USB stick (I had one from my Garmin 405)
3. A Garmin that supports bike cadence and distance
4. Cadence/speed sensor
5. Trainer
6. A towel, a fan, and lots of water

What an outstanding program! Highly recommended for people who want to improve their biking in the most efficient way possible.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Ann's Awesome Alert (AAA) #1

I've noticed that I probably say "awesome" too much, especially while I'm on the phone with total strangers during my workday.  Nevertheless, there are things that are really outstanding -- so I thought I'd pass them along.

So for the inaugural AAA, I've chosen my bike fitter, Mike.  You can find him at  If you are in the Kansas City area, this is one of the best bike investments you can make.

I found Mike on Slowtwitch, since he was the only listed FIST fitter in the KC area.  I actually first contacted him while I was still in Poland and scheduled my fitting before I even returned to the US. I wasn't in any pain while riding, but I didn't have confidence in my fit, especially given the addition of the aerobars and the Fast Forward seatpost.  (Being a complete newbie to cycling and the language barrier made me doubt almost everything.) I was super impressed when he busted out the lasers to check my kneecap tracking. So when I bought my new tri bike, I obviously called him up.  I am now much more comfortable on the tri bike during long rides.

In addition to being such a great fitter, Mike was a great resource in my hunt for a tri bike -- I could e-mail him my questions and concerns and he would respond with in-depth answers so I could make smart decisions.  It was great to have a 3rd party "consultant" who wasn't swayed by trying to sell a certain brand of bike.

So as I said, if you are anywhere remotely close to Kansas City, Mike is the man to call!